Exploring Mitragynine: Kratom's Key Alkaloid

Exploring Mitragynine: Kratom's Key Alkaloid

Exploring Mitragynine: Kratom's Key Alkaloid

Source: Freepic

Kratom is a fascinating botanical wonder, that has been making waves in the world of holistic wellness. Its key alkaloid, mitragynine is no ordinary compound, it's a remarkable gift from the plant kingdom that has garnered attention for its potential benefits. 

In this article, we will delve deep into the world of mitragynine, uncovering its origins, properties, potential uses, and safety considerations. By the end, you'll thoroughly understand this intriguing botanical alkaloid.

What is Mitragynine? 

Mitragynine is an indole-based naturally occurring alkaloid, and it stands as the most abundant and active alkaloid found in the Southeast Asian wonder plant, Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom. This compound has been used for centuries, from traditional Southeast Asian remedies to contemporary therapeutic options. 

The origins and distribution

Source: Freepic

Mitragynine's story begins in the lush rainforests of Southeast Asia, where the Mitragyna speciosa tree thrives. Indigenous people in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have been utilizing the leaves of this tree for generations. The local agricultural communities have traditionally used it as a stimulant to enhance endurance and combat fatigue while toiling under the scorching sun. 

These regions provide the perfect conditions for the Mitragyna speciosa tree to flourish, resulting in leaves that are rich in mitragynine and other alkaloids.

The history of mitragynine's discovery traces back to the early 19th century when Dutch botanist Pieter Korthals first documented the Mitragyna speciosa tree. However, it wasn't until the mid-20th century that scientists began to isolate and study mitragynine extensively.

While initially confined to Southeast Asian borders, mitragynine has recently embarked on a global voyage, gaining popularity in Europe and the Americas as both a recreational substance and a medicinal remedy. Despite this, research on mitragynine remains relatively scarce compared to the attention that kratom is getting.

Mitragynine is the heart of kratom. It takes center stage in the chemical makeup of this plant, with concentrations ranging from 0.5% to 1.5% in dried leaves. However, the abundance of mitragynine can vary depending on the geographical origin and the strain

In Thai kratom varieties, mitragynine reigns supreme, constituting up to a staggering 66% of the total alkaloid content. In contrast, Malaysian kratom carries a lower mitragynine concentration, around 12% of total alkaloids. 

The kratom plant can be consumed in different forms:

What makes Mitragynine special? 

Mitragynine stands out among the natural compounds in kratom leaves due to its unique properties and potential effects on the human body. Here's what makes it so special:

1. Alkaloid structure: Mitragynine is an indole alkaloid, a type of organic compound with unique pharmacological properties. This chemical structure sets it apart from other plant compounds.

2. Interaction with receptors: Mitragynine is known to interact with opioid receptors in the brain, which has led to its classification as an "atypical opioid." However, its action on these receptors is different from traditional opioids, making it a subject of scientific interest.

3. Varied effects: Mitragynine's effects can range from stimulating to sedating, depending on the dosage and individual differences. This versatility has sparked curiosity about its potential applications.

Mitragynine's Potential Benefits 

At the heart of mitragynine's potential lies its interaction with the body's opioid receptors. While it binds to these receptors, its mechanism of action is different from that of typical opioids, offering a unique profile of effects. This differentiation has sparked interest among researchers and users and presents a potential alternative for managing various conditions. Many users report different benefits from using kratom leaves.

Mood enhancement 

Mitragynine is celebrated for its mood-enhancing effects. Many users report improved well-being, reduced anxiety, and enhanced focus and motivation. This has led some to explore its use as a natural remedy for mood enhancement.

Energy and focus 

In traditional settings, mitragynine-containing leaves were used by laborers and farmers to combat fatigue and boost energy levels. In lower doses, mitragynine can have stimulating effects, increasing energy levels and improving focus. This has made it a popular choice among students and professionals looking for a natural way to boost productivity.

While mitragynine shows promise, it's essential to consider safety. The lack of regulation, impure products, and standardized dosing can pose risks. It's crucial to approach mitragynine use with caution, starting with low doses and being mindful of potential side effects. 

At Kratom Country, we prioritize product purity. That’s why we implement a five-step process to guarantee our lab-tested kratom's integrity.

Ethnopharmacology: A potential natural pain reliever

Mitragynine's role as a pain reliever is deeply rooted in traditional practices. In Southeast Asia, laborers often turned to kratom's mild stimulant properties and perceived antinociceptive effects to enhance endurance and alleviate pain while working. Laboratory studies in mice have even suggested that mitragynine may induce antinociceptive effects comparable to opioids like oxycodone. 

In the United States, kratom has gained popularity as a self-treatment for chronic pain, hinting at its potential as a substitution therapy.

Recreational use

Mitragynine's effects vary with dosage. At low doses, it induces a mild stimulating effect, while larger doses lead to sedation and opioid-like antinociception. The concentration of mitragynine varies between kratom strains, resulting in strain-specific effects. Kratom has found its place in the modern world. Its traditional uses are still relevant today.

The methods of use remain the same. You can chew its leaves or make tea from them for a sense of well-being and relaxation. Small amounts create a feeling of happiness, while larger doses provide bodily comfort. Effects start in about ten minutes and last up to six hours. Many find it boosts productivity, creativity, and social interaction, as well as aiding sleep.

The pharmacological mysteries

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Mitragynine interacts with various receptors in the brain, including opioid receptors. It has a unique profile, acting as both a stimulant and an analgesic. This dual action is one reason why mitragynine interests researchers and users.

Researchers are still studying how Mitragynine interacts with opioid receptors. Some think it partially activates mu-opioid receptors, while others say it fully activates them. 

Mitragynine also affects delta and kappa opioid receptors, but not as strongly as mu receptors. It also interacts with receptors like dopamine D2, adenosine, serotonin, and alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, but we're not sure how important these interactions are.

New findings show that mitragynine has a different way of working in the body. It seems to prefer a specific signaling pathway, which might explain why it has fewer side effects than regular opioids.

Navigating pharmacokinetics

Researchers have studied how mitragynine acts in the body, mostly using rodents and microsomes. But because there haven't been many tests on humans, we don't have a full picture of how it works in our bodies yet. In the tests done on people, it seems mitragynine stays in the body longer than regular opioids, and it reaches its highest concentration in the blood about an hour after you take it by mouth.

The metabolic maze

Mitragynine interacts with the body's opioid receptors, in a unique manner. It's classified as an atypical opioid, as it doesn't bind to receptors in the same way as traditional opioids. Instead, it attaches to delta opioid receptors, providing a more nuanced and less addictive effect.

Source: PMC


Mitragynine serves as the precursor to 7-Hydroxymitragynine, but it doesn't stay in this form for long. Over time, the natural aging process and exposure to sunlight of kratom leaves, lead to the oxidation of mitragynine, transforming it into 7-Hydroxymitragynine the process continues when the leaves are ingested. This metabolite is responsible for pain-relieving effects by interacting with the mu-opioid receptor. Mitragynine goes through changes in the liver through two phases: 

Phase I & Phase II. 

  • In Phase I, it goes through a series of reactions like hydrolysis and o-demethylation, and then oxidation and reduction. 

  • In Phase II, it gets processed through reactions like glucuronidation and sulfation, and finally, it becomes various forms that the body gets rid of in urine.

Varieties and types of Kratom

Kratom comes in a range of varieties, each with its distinct characteristics. These differences are often due to the presence of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which affects their strength and potential benefits.

Types of Kratom

Red Vein Kratom

Red vein kratom is known for its relaxation and pain-relief properties. The name "red" comes from the color of the veins in its leaves. People seeking relief from anxiety or stress often prefer this type, as it has soothing effects, making it perfect for unwinding after a long day or managing physical discomfort.


Red vein kratom is typically found in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.


Red vein kratom is considered to be moderately potent. Its effects can vary depending on the specific strain within this category.


Green Vein Kratom

Green vein kratom strikes a balance between the relaxing qualities of red veins and the energizing effects of white vein kratom. It's a versatile choice, ideal for enhancing focus and productivity. Whether you have a demanding work project or need a mental boost for a busy day, green vein kratom can be your ally.


Green vein kratom is typically found in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.


Green vein kratom is known for its moderate potency. It offers a milder energy boost compared to white vein kratom.


White Vein Kratom


White vein kratom is the go-to for an energy boost. It provides stimulation, mental clarity, and alertness. Think of it as a natural alternative to caffeine when you need that extra kick.


White vein kratom is typically found in countries like Indonesia and Thailand.


White vein Kratom is often considered to be highly potent due to its stimulating effects.


Kratom Strains

Bali Kratom

Bali kratom, also known as Red Bali, is famous for its calming properties. It's a popular choice for relaxation and stress relief. Bali's unique climate and soil conditions contribute to its distinct characteristics, promoting tranquility and peace.

Maeng Da Kratom

Maeng Da kratom is considered the "top-tier" strain due to its potency and long-lasting effects. It comes in various colors, including red, green, and white. Maeng Da is linked to increased alertness, motivation, and vitality. If you have a challenging task or need a productivity boost, Maeng Da kratom is a top pick.

Thai Kratom

Thai kratom, originating from Thailand, is known for its energizing qualities. It's favored by those looking to enhance stamina and mood. Whether you're facing a tough workout or a long workday, Thai kratom can provide the extra vitality you need.

Borneo Kratom

Borneo kratom, native to the Indonesian island of Borneo, is celebrated for its pain-relieving effects. It's a reliable choice for alleviating various forms of discomfort, such as muscle tension. Borneo kratom's relaxing properties can help ease physical and emotional stress.

Malay Kratom

Malay kratom, from Malaysia, offers a balance of relaxation and energy. It's a versatile strain suitable for various purposes. Whether you want to unwind without feeling lethargic or need a gentle mood boost, Malay kratom fits the bill.

Vietnam Kratom

Vietnam kratom is relatively new but gaining attention for its unique properties. Depending on the strain, it can offer mild relaxation to gentle stimulation. At the store, you can choose between Vietnam kratom capsules and Vietnam kratom powder, allowing you to find the perfect form for your desired effects.

Kali Kratom

Kali kratom originates from Indonesia's Borneo island. It's known for its high potency due to a higher concentration of 7-Hydroxymitragynine. Kali kratom has strong relaxation properties and can help reduce nervousness.

Kratom legal landscape

In the United States, kratom and its active ingredients, including mitragynine, are not scheduled under DEA guidelines. However, the legality of kratom has experienced turbulence, with the DEA's attempt to classify mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine as Schedule I substances in 2016 facing significant public opposition.

At Kratom Country, we offer top-quality kratom products, always in compliance with legal regulations. Therefore we cannot ship our products to the following U.S. states:


  • Alabama

  • Arkansas

  • Indiana

  • Rhode Island

  • Vermont

  • Wisconsin

  • San Diego, California

  • Jerseyville, Illinois

  • Sarasota County, Florida

Additionally, we do not ship to the following countries:

  • Australia

  • Burma

  • Denmark

  • Finland

  • Lithuania

  • Malaysia

  • Myanmar

  • Poland

  • Romania

  • South Africa

  • Sweden

  • Thailand

  • Vietnam

Getting started with Kratom Country



If you're looking to try kratom for yourself, whether it's in the form of leaves, capsules, extract, or powder, your quest concludes right here with Kratom Country

Since 2010, Kratom Country has remained committed to providing excellent products, outstanding customer service, and free shipping on qualifying orders.


Is mitragynine safe for consumption?

The safety of mitragynine is a subject of ongoing debate. While it is generally considered safe when used responsibly, excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects. Consultation with a healthcare professional is advisable before use.

Can mitragynine be addictive?

Mitragynine's potential for addiction is a concern, particularly among those who misuse kratom products. Regular and excessive use can lead to physical dependence, making it crucial to use responsibly.

How is mitragynine consumed?

Mitragynine is typically consumed by chewing the fresh leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree, brewing them into teas, or ingesting dried kratom powder. Various forms, including capsules and extracts, are also available in the market and Kratom Country.

Is mitragynine legal?

The legal status of mitragynine and kratom products varies by country and region. It is essential to research and understand the legal regulations in your area before obtaining and using mitragynine-containing products.

Can I get addicted to kratom?

While kratom is less addictive than traditional opioids, prolonged and excessive use can lead to dependency. It's crucial to use it responsibly.

What are the different kratom strains?

Kratom comes in various strains, each with unique effects. Some popular strains include Bali, Maeng Da, and Red Thai.

Are there any potential side effects of using kratom?

Yes, some users may experience side effects such as digestive issues, cognitive impairment, and nausea when using kratom. It's essential to use it in moderation and be aware of your body's response.